WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, hovering near historic lows. Cheap mortgages have helped spur a recovery in the housing market.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage edged up to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage held at 2.76 percent. The record low is 2.63 percent.
The lowest mortgage rates in decades have boosted home sales and helped the market rebound. More people are buying homes, which has pushed up home prices. Historically low rates also have encouraged more people to refinance, often lowering monthly payments and leaving consumers with more spending money.